World premiere of ‘Fireflies’ at Long Wharf features cast ‘made in heaven’
Published 6:20 pm, Friday, September 29, 2017
Having a “cast made in heaven” is the way Long Wharf Theatre’s artistic director describes the situation for the world premiere of “Fireflies,” which runs Wednesday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Nov. 5, in New Haven.
Jane Alexander, Denis Arndt, Judith Ivey and Christopher Michael McFarland will star in the play by Tony Award-nominee Matthew Barber. Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein will direct.
Alexander, Ivey and Arndt are “three of the most distinguished and gifted actors working on the stage today. It is thrilling for all of us at Long Wharf to be hosting these three extraordinary artists,” Edelstein said.
The plot, according to the theater: “Eleanor Bannister, a retired schoolteacher, lives a sleepy life in tiny Groverdell, Texas. She’s taught almost everyone in town. She is, in a word, orderly. Until one night, when walking alone through the brambles barefoot and in her nightgown, she encounters Abel Brown, a mysterious drifter. Brown has been wandering around town, looking for houses to fix and, rumor has it, widows to talk to. Brown is nothing but a drifter, but despite their obvious differences, Eleanor and Abel find themselves drawn to each other. This beautiful new romance shows that connection can be found in the unlikeliest of places and in the unlikeliest of ways.”
Playwright Matthew Barber received a Tony Award-nomination for his adaptation of the novel “Enchanted April,” which made its Broadway debut in 2003. It has been performed more than 500 times internationally, making it one of the most produced plays of the past decade.
Tony Award winner and four-time Oscar nominee Jane Alexander, playing Eleanor Bannister, returns to Long Wharf for the first time since her appearance in “Mourning Becomes Electra” during the 2004-05 season. She has appeared in more than 70 screen and television roles. Her most recent book is “Wild Things, Wild Places: Adventurous Tales of Wildlife and Conservation on Planet Earth.”
Denis Arndt, playing Abel Brown, has appeared in about 80 films and television series including “Basic Instinct,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Ally McBeal,” “L.A. Law” and “Picket Fences.”
Tony Award-winner Judith Ivey has been a “regular and beloved” presence on Long Wharf Theatre’s stages, the theater said. She has appeared in almost 70 films and television shows, including “Bloodline,” “White Collar,” “Designing Women” and “Brighton Beach Memoirs.” She received an Emmy nomination for her work in “What The Deaf Man Heard.”
Christopher Michael McFarland has appeared at Yale Repertory Theatre and in New York at New Victory Theatre, The Acting Company and the New York Shakespeare Exchange, among others.
Long Wharf Theatre’s Claire Tow Stage in the C. Newton Schenck III Theatre, 222 Sargent Drive New Haven. Wednesday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Nov 5. Tickets start at $29. 203-787-4282.